Southwestern Style Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing – ★★★★★

10923830_10205571635308333_4093846193710951383_n

When I think of a fulfilling meal salad is not the first thing that comes to mind. I am trying to teach my boys healthy eating habits and in order to do that I feel the need to set an example. That is where the idea of salad for dinner was conceived. This recipe blew me away because not only is it healthy but it is filling and delicious too. The vegetables add substance and texture while the dressing provides out-of-this-world flavor. The only thing I might do differently is add a little bit of avocado to the dressing to thicken it up a little bit. I never thought I would want salad for dinner, but I am certainly looking forward to the next time we do. Another great thing about this recipe is that it is so easy to throw together. I had everything prepped so when it was time to have dinner I just threw it all together, two nights in a row 🙂  Perry gave five stars and here is why:

“This salad is awesome. It is packed with so many different vegetables that every forkful is different. My favorite part of the salad was the green dressing. If I know Kelsey she put way more garlic then the recipe called for originally and that made it almost a little spicy which is how I like it. I suggested to Kels that she make the dressing again the next time we do tacos, because who doesn’t love a saucy street taco?! Five stars!”

Serves: 4 huge salads     Calories: 326.25 per serving      Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • Bag of 3 hearts of romaine, chopped OR 4-5 cups of romaine lettuce
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Santa fe tortilla strips for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 1.5 bunches of cilantro, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic (original recipe calls for two but I used four. If you like it spicy use four cloves.)
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Combine all dressing ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend/pulse until completely combined. Set into refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Assemble the salad with prepped ingredients. Pile lettuce into a bowl or onto a plate. Lay tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, beans and tortilla strips on top. Drizzle with dressing and serve.
  3. Enjoy!

*Dressing recipe adapted from http://www.damndelicious.com

*Photo is an original belonging to me 

2014 in review – Loved reading this and seeing how much this little blog has taken off

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Roasted Asparagus with Feta – ★★★★★

10801819_10205544042698535_3590794069675837959_n

I take pride in trying to feed my family healthy dinners, but I seriously need to up the ante on how often we eat veggies. That being said, I am trying to include one dinner a week that is 100% veggie based. The problem with this is that there are not many recipes out there that take a vegetable and stick to some sort of nutritional value AND pack in some flavor. All the recipes that look good are either smothered in a brown sugar glaze or have so much salt I would end up a bloated mess for about a week. This recipe surfaced from a google search that led me to www.gonnawantseconds.com, a beautiful recipe site that had me salivating by the time I was done looking through all the yummy meals. This recipe is a dream because it so easy to make and the asparagus tips literally melt in your mouth. You start by making a garlic and herb infused oil that I would probably drink if I knew no one would judge me for it. I think this oil would go great on roasted green beans, brussel sprouts, or basically any savory veggie you can get your hands on. I know that is what I plan to do to keep this veggie train in motion. The feta is an awesome creamy touch that Perry really enjoyed. He gave 5 stars and here is why:

” This one did not disappoint. The asparagus had a”melt in your mouth” texture at the tips but kept a tender/crisp texture towards the bottom. My favorite part was the feta. The crumbles that fell on the pan came out melted but when it cooled they were like parmesan crisps. I would describe the flavor as refreshing because it has a nice light lemony taste. I give it five stars”

Serves: 4-6      Calories: 157 per serving     Time: 45

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs fresh asparagus, washed and woody roots trimmed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 14 cloves of garlic, minced (original recipe only calls for 6 but I love garlic… Don’t judge me….)
  • 1.5 tsp lemon zest
  • 1.5 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta (I used sun-dried tomato and herb feta because… why not?)
  • 1 lemon

Directions

  1. Start by prepping your ingredients. If you’re using 14 cloves of garlic, which I totally recommend, this could take a few extra minutes.
  2. In a saucepan heat oil, garlic, lemon zest, oregano, and pepper flakes over low heat stirring occasionally until garlic starts to turn a golden brown (approx.. 5 minutes). Remove the saucepan from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  4. In a large mixing bowl toss the asparagus with garlic and herb oil.
  5. Lay the asparagus in a single layer on baking sheet. Top with oil left in the mixing bowl and 1/2 cup of feta.
  6. Roast for approximately 15 minutes. Remove and spritz with lemon juice.
  7. Serve immediately

*Original recipe found at http://www.gonnawantseconds.com/

*Photo is an original belonging to me

Chiles Rellenos Casserole

10933822_10205538174111824_4113957298982689490_n

It has been over two months since my last post because it’s been over two months since I’ve cooked a meal. The end of 2014 was possibly one of the most hectic and stressful times of my life thus far. November/December/January was chock full of birthdays, holidays, new babies and a cross-country drive with our toddler and our newborn. Needless to say my motivation to cook was nonexistent. However, now we are back in California and I’m back to having the space/time to be creative in my own kitchen. 2015 will, I hope, bring more family recipes to this blog. Cooking with a toddler AND a newborn is really difficult but I’m discovering new ways to make it all come together.

Now that you’re all privy to what’s been going on in my life let’s get down to business, chile relleno casserole! This recipe is perfect for so many reasons. First, it is a casserole so throw it all in your dish, bake it and you’re good. Second, this is chile relleno so the flavor is spicy and amazing. Third, this makes so many servings we will probably have left overs for a few days. Fourth, you can simplify some major steps to save time and frustration. And finally, the original source is a blog I stumbled upon that I trust and who has their stuff together (www.goingreno you freakin’ rock the internet). Seriously, this was a great recipe to come back to the blog with. I will definitely be making it again soon.

Serves: 8-10     Calories: 409.6/serving     Prep: 1 hour 20 minutes    Cook: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 poblano peppers (if you want to save time get 3-4 cans of whole green chilies)
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 can rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 cup of milk, divided
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic (save time by purchasing already minced garlic rather than hand mincing)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cumin

Directions: 

  1. If you are roasting fresh peppers follow each step, if you are using canned chilies skip to step 6.
  2. Turn oven to broil setting
  3. Wash the peppers and rub with oil and season with 1 tsp salt. Place on a cookie sheet and broil on each side for 10 minutes. (20 minutes in total.)
  4. Transfer peppers to an airtight container or plastic bag and let sit for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove the skin, seeds and ribs from peppers. I literally used my finger nails to scrape the skin off. if you do this PLEASE wear gloves. The oils from the peppers will burn your skin (I learned this the hard way) and you’ll be in agony soaking your hands in milk while trying to enjoy your casserole. Do not be concerned if the peppers split when trying to clean them. You want them to lay flat in the end anyways in order to layer the casserole. if they don’t split cut them so they lay flat.
  6. Preheat oven to 350.
  7. Mix together the diced tomatoes, garlic, 1 tsp salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of milk in a pot and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. This will seem watery but that is okay.
  8. Spray a 9X13 baking pan and pour the tomato mixture into it.
  9. Place half of your poblano peppers, as evenly as you can, on top of the tomato mixture followed by half of the shredded cheese. Repeat with another layer of peppers and cheese.
  10. Whisk together the eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, flour, cumin and salt/pepper to taste (except don’t taste it… raw eggs you guys.. eyeball what you think will add good flavor. I did a light sprinkling of each). Pour this mixture over the entire casserole.
  11. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until the eggs have set. To check, insert a fork into the center and if it comes out clean you are ready to eat! I check a few different spots though just to be sure – raw eggs gross me out.
  12. Slice into 8-10 squares and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe found at http://www.goingreno.com 

Save